On Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending Northeast Wrestling’s Wrestling Under the Stars 3 event, at Dutchess Stadium, in Fishkill, NY. There were some really good matches, and some “matches”, but it was a fun night.
Most of the crowd was there for Young Bucks vs. Hardy Boys, but it was a card filled with former WWE stars, and, hopefully, some future ones, too.
Michael Bennett vs. Matt Taven
The opening contest saw Michael Bennett (w/ Maria) take on Matt Taven. A really good match. The crowd was firmly against Bennett, split against Maria, but completely behind Taven.
Bennett got a laugh from the crowd as he yelled “I’m gonna kill him”, then attempted a piledriver, but Taven countered.
Taven would go on to pick up the victory with a frog splash. Taven’s athleticism was on display the whole match, but the frog splash brought it home with some insane height.
In my opinion, Bennett always delivers. He had a solid match in this one.
I think both Bennett and Taven are extremely talented guys, both should have a shot at taking a few steps forward.
Bret Hart in-ring interview
Bret came out and cut a very short promo on Fishkill, NY. It was a little tough to understand, but there clearly wasn’t much of note here.
Reby Sky, Shovelhead Chuck and “The Manscout” Jake Manning vs. Velvet Sky, Robbie “The Giant” Araujo and Mark Shurman
Each three-person team had a man, a woman, and a little person. Velvet’s team were the faces.
The two Sky’s saw the most in-ring time in this one. The finish saw the three faces stand on the ropes, over their opponents in the corner and deliver 10 punches, then Irish Whip them into each other, and end it with three chokeslams and three pins.
Fun match. The crowd liked the Sky’s, I don’t think it had much to do with wrestling.
Sergei Volkov vs. Romeo Roselli
Volkov played a Russian gimmick.
Roselli came out with a Staff Sergeant from the Army. That got a loud pop from the crowd, but didn’t mask the fact that a guy named Romeo Roselli was representing the US in this match.
Roselli picked up the win.
Monster BC (fka Brodus Clay) vs. J Busta
BC came out with Booker T.
J Busta came out with two guys known as The Platinum Entourage. Eventually, one of them joined the match to make it a Handicap Match.
BC controlled the match early on, but J Busta was able to get him to the mat and make some believable attacks on BC’s legs, despite the size difference.
When it became a Handicap Match, it was really just BC dominating both men. BC got the pin with a splash.
The two biggest pops in this match were both for Booker. Once, during the match when he punched out the member of The Platinum Entourage not in the match. The other came after the match, when he did a Spinaroonie.
Joe Ausanio vs. Dan De Man
Ausanio is the Director of Baseball Operations for the Hudson Valley Renegades, the minor league baseball team who play in Dutchess Stadium. He is also a former pitcher with the New York Yankees.
Ausanio picked up the win with a spear.
Brian Anthony vs. Caleb Konley vs. Matt Sydal (fka Evan Bourne) for the NEW Championship
I didn’t know much about Anthony or Konley going into this match, but I knew that Sydal’s athleticism could make this a really good match.
I quickly found out that Anthony and Konley are pretty athletic too.
This was a high-flying match that saw Anthony retain his title by kicking Sydal out of the ring and pinning Konley, after Sydal hit him with a Shooting Star Press.
The crowd was mainly there for the two final matches, but they got really into this one. Really good match.
If you’ve never seen Sydal live, go do it the next time he’s in your area. His athleticism is unbelievable. He hit a standing moonsault in this one that made the crowd go insane because of the height he got on it.
Kevin Steen vs. Jerry Lawler in a Piledriver Match (no pins, no submissions)
Steen came out first, accompanied by Michael Bennett and Maria. Then, Lawler came out by himself.
Steen got on the mic and asked Lawler if he wanted to know why Bennett and Maria were out there, Lawler nodded. Steen asked the crowd if they wanted to know too, the crowd cheered, but Steen yelled back, “I’m not saying this for you”.
Steen then explained that Bennett is a Piledriver enthusiast, so him and Maria were there to watch Steen deliver a Piledriver to Lawler. Steen also said “I know how you are, Jerry. Don’t get any ideas”, as he pushed Maria back behind Bennett, drawing a laugh from the crowd.
Lawler then got on the mic and basically said good for Bennett, then turned to the entrance way and asked if anybody else likes Piledrivers, and out came Matt Taven. Taven got in the ring and shook hands with Lawler, then faced off with Bennett. Lawler said he looked for somebody to stand off with Maria, but she had already left her street corner, which got a really loud reaction from the crowd.
Steen started off the match by getting a big early advantage on Lawler. Lawler took some bumps in this match, I didn’t really know what to expect from him, but he didn’t hold back.
The match broke down late, with Bennett starting it all by grabbing Lawler’s foot from under the ropes and taking him down. Taven then went after Bennett and took him out.
Meanwhile, Steen used the advantage from Bennett to set up the Package Piledriver, but Taven got in the ring and jumped on Steen to stop him. Steen then hit Taven with the Package Piledriver, but celebrated too long and allowed Lawler to hit a Piledriver for the win.
The addition of Taven and Bennett seemed to be to help Lawler, but Lawler didn’t need them. Steen and Lawler could have done this on their own and it would have been very enjoyable.
That being said, Bennett and Taven brought something a little extra, which made the match memorable.
Young Bucks vs. Hardy Boys
The crowd was waiting for The Hardy Boys, well at least Jeff Hardy, all night. They got a huge pop when they made their entrance, which was hilarious.
All the wrestlers came down to the ring in vehicles, because the locker room is buried deep in the right field corner, and the ring is on home plate. Well, earlier in the evening, Brian Anthony ran to the ring in a tribute to Ultimate Warrior. Not to be outdone, The Hardy Boys ran to the ring, with Jeff doing his usual, “way out there” stuff, going out to the outfield, and eventually out near second base, which was nowhere near the entrance way. Meanwhile, Matt ran straight to the entrance, but seemed to run out of breath and signaled for the kids, who were awaiting their arrival at the entrance, to just come and greet him early so he could stop running. I am a fan of Matt’s, but there’s no sugarcoating the way this looked.
The match itself was awesome. The high point came when Nick Jackson hit a springboard Shooting Star Press to the outside on the Hardys, and his brother.
The Hardys would pick up the victory, with Matt getting the pin, after Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb.
This match was excellent. It got a few “This is Awesome” chants, and they did that without pulling out all the stops.
After the match, Matt Hardy put the Young Bucks over on the mic, and all four men shook hands and got a nice cheer from the crowd.
If you live in the Northeast of the United States, go to a Northeast Wrestling show. Most of their shows have former WWE stars on them, so you can go see Matt Hardy, or go to a meet-and-greet with Booker T or Bret Hart.
That goes for anybody in any region of the country. Go find a promotion in your area. Those meet-and-greets can be your reason for going, but go enjoy the whole show, because there are some talented guys in the world of wrestling who have yet to make a name for themselves, but they never will if you don’t support independent wrestling. I can confidently say that Caleb Konley and Brian Anthony both gained a fan in me on Saturday night, and I’m probably not the only one.
This was a really fun night, and I look forward to enjoying more like it. I hope you’ll join me.